Take our 30 days of kindness challenge!
This week marks World Humanitarian Day, when we recognise aid workers who carry out lifesaving, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances. It’s a day to commemorate all people who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the world. To find out more go to worldhumanitarianday.org.
In the September issue of Candis, we look at the benefits of being helpful to others – and how it ultimately helps our survival as a species. After all, if we look after each other we are stronger together…
But while we may not all be able to go to the amazing lengths that aid workers go to, we can all try to be a little bit kinder to each other. Indeed, when you perform a kind act for someone, while you may help them feel better, you’ll feel better about yourself. You’ll also connect with another person for a brief moment, if not for longer. And if the other person passes on the kindness, it can multiply exponentially.
So why not take our challenge and, for the next 30 days, complete a random act of kindness for someone – then let us know how it made you feel (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Unsure how to get started? Here’s a few ideas to help:
- Give a lottery ticket to a stranger.
- Write a note to the management about an employee who has treated you well while doing their job (waiter, sales person…etc).
- Send a card to someone in the military overseas.
- Put change in a row of vending machines.
- Visit a nursing home or hospital. Spend time visiting with someone who doesn’t get visitors.
- Put something you no longer need on your local freecycle.
- Leave something for someone at an area where it most might be used – a book in reading area, an umbrella near door on rainy day.
- Drop off a toy or game at a hospital or homeless shelter.
- Send a picture you have taken which includes a friend and send it to them with a note remembering when it was taken.
- Make a CD of your favourite songs or a list of your favourite recipes and give it to a friend (or stranger!).
- Donate a few hours of your time (if you offer a service for a living), or one product, or one seminar, or one class, or just one of whatever it is that you do as a gift to someone else.
- Invite someone who is alone over for dinner.
- Put money in a parking meter that has expired.
- Write a thank you note to a person from your past who has made a difference in your life.
- Write letters of appreciation to groups who are helping the community, the environment, etc.
- Make a point of introducing yourself to someone you see all of the time but never say hello to.
- Send an anonymous scratch card, lottery or theatre ticket to someone you know – or a gift voucher, a funny card, a chocolate bar, or whatever you feel they would enjoy.
- If you know someone who is having a hard time financially, drop a £5, £10 or £20 note in an envelope, disguise your writing or type the envelope, and mail it to them.
- Offer to baby sit for a friend or family member.
- Donate blood.
- Pay for the toll for the car behind you.
- Mow someone’s lawn, rake their leaves or shovel their snow. Or offer to take an elderly neighbour shopping.
- Cook a family dish for a busy neighbor or friend so they can take a break for a night.
- Pay for the meal of a person sitting by themself when you are eating out – it doesn’t have to be in a restaurant. It can be in a little coffee shop or cafe.
- Buy coffee for the person behind you in the queue.
- Volunteer time at a charitable organisation.
- Volunteer to read to children at the library.
- Walk around a park or public area picking up rubbish.
- Add a few extra items to your shopping trolley and donate them to a local food bank (there are lots of food bank stations in supermarkets now).
- Clean up gravestones at a local cemetery or remove any really old or dead flowers.